Sun-Times, Tribune, NewCity: America The Beautiful, America The Ugly

• Chicago chefs on what it means to cook “American” in 2008 [Sun-Times]
• Grapes: provider of wine, raisins, and now, the hot new oil [Sun-Times]
• East Rogers Park has arrived as a gentrihood via a wine shop [Sun-Times]
• An amazing wire story on optimal beverage service temperatures [Sun-Times]
• Bill Daley has a big feature on Bordeaux and its wines [Tribune]
• M.F.K. Fisher, celebrator of eating, would have turned 100 [Tribune]
• In hot dog taste test, Oscar Mayer trumps Vienna Beef! [Tribune]

Meanwhile, in NewCity, Mike Nagrant writes about New York celebrichef David Chang of Momofuku Ko fame and his recent decision to ban all photograph at his latest, greatest restaurant. Monica Eng and Chris Borrelli reported on the phenomenon of camera bans in the Tribune this last weekend in a piece that was largely sympathetic to Chang’s argument: that the photographers were disrupting his cooks (who are right in front of the diners) and their fellow patrons. Other notable Chicago chefs seem to be sympathetic as well, which is precisely what worries Nagrant. If Chang is successful at banning photography at Ko, this could be the beginning of the end of food porn (although Chang plans to post his own Ko photos on flickr). And furthermore, whatever rights we have as diners — real or imagined — are being eroded and nothing is being done to stop it!

Well, it would definitely be unfortunate if amateur restaurant photography went away, but populist internet backlash may well be a strong enough force to keep such an eventuality at bay. Never give the customer an extra reason to hate you! Also, it may be that Chang’s announcement was as much a publicity stunt as anything else. In the meantime, just don’t use flash and no one will get mad at you, probably.

[Photo: a (blurry) photo of someone else taking a picture at Ko, via winyang/flickr]


Sun-Times, Tribune, NewCity: America The Beautiful, America The Ugly